Banned books to be read on Strozier Library steps

What do Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World have in common?

In addition to being acknowledged as literary classics or among the best of recent novels, they were among the dozens of books that groups attempted to ban from school or public libraries in the United States during the past two years. To honor the ongoing battle to preserve Americans’ freedom to read, a Banned Books Reading will be held on the steps of Florida State University’s Strozier Library on Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Florida State University Libraries, the English Department and the School of Library & Information Studies’ student chapter of the American Library Association. FSU administrators, faculty and students will read brief excerpts from a variety of books. John Fenstermaker, the Fred L. Standley professor of English and president of the Friends of the Florida State University Libraries, will preside.

Banned Books Week was created in 1982 by the American Library Association in response to a surge in challenges to books in schools, libraries and bookstores. The ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom reported 513 challenges in 2008 alone, but it estimates that this reflects only 20 to 25 percent of actual incidents, because most go unreported.

To view a Google map and brief descriptions of cases documented by ALA and the Kids’ Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, visit <>